Why Xennials are the New Greatest Generation
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WHAT GENERATION ARE YOU?
I am part of the generation of Xennials, but I grew up a Gen Xer. I remember countless hours in front of my parent’s stereo, recording Casey Kasem’s Top 40. When the streetlights came on, it was time to come inside. I wouldn’t go anywhere without my Sony Walkman and the closest thing to a smartphone was the now infamous ‘Zack Morris’ phone. Where my junior ‘Millennial’ counterparts were practically born with a tablet in their hands and my parental ‘Boomers’ don’t quite understand email, my fellow Gen Xers pretty much invented the internet.
Our childhoods were innocent, completely void of selfies. In our teenage years, we logged countless hours talking on the phone. We foraged the dating world without any help from social media or dating sites. We learned technology as it was created.
Work Hard, Play Hard
While I can relate to the Gen X philosophy “Work Hard, Play Hard,” I am not quite sure where it has gotten me. Similar to the quandary of many Millennials, my career path has shifted about 4 times already. Gone are the days of staying in the same company your entire working life. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Many my age think that, while you may hate your job, everybody hates their job and you just gotta suck it up. Conversely, many Millennials do not subscribe to this line of reasoning. They tend to look at the world differently. They ask how can I make money and be happy.
Consequently, this is exactly how I started my writing adventure. I refused to stay locked in a space that confined and depressed me. Instead, I looked outside that box.
So how is it that I have the cynicism of Generation X and the optimism of the Millennial Generation?” Raised in a pre-tech childhood and formatively growing into a digital adulthood, I have the luxury and benefits of BOTH. I am a Xennial – a microgeneration coined by Sarah Stankorb in a 2014 article in GOOD Magazine.
Millennials are said to be between 21 and 34 and Generation Xers are between ages 35 and 49. Although, with this large an age range there is bound to be some overlap. This is where Xennials take the stage. Born directly into the Star Wars Era, we 34-40 year olds are creating our own generational stereotype.
How Gen X and Millennials Handle Money
Gen Xers are believed to be the most money-conscious – depending on the latest ‘expert source’ you read. After all, this generation currently has the most financial responsibility; juggling careers, children, mortgages and aging parents.
Millennials, on the other hand, tend to get the worst financial rap. I have heard everything from ‘entitled’ to ‘lazy,’ answering solely to the Id pleasure principle of ‘I want, I get’ – thus the ever-rising national credit card debt. (Or is this actually Gen X’s mindset? The generational stereotypes seem to be semi-relatable to the ever harshly judged Astrological signs.)
Regardless, this ‘Snowflake’ Generation may actually be more on par with the Silent Generation – the Depression Era minded ones. Millennials have felt the financial pain of The Great Recession. They come out of college with crushing debt and face an unstable job market riddled with high unemployment rates. They are starting their financial lives with the deck stacked against them. Maybe this is why they started the side hustle movement and helped give rise to this new gig economy. Never mind whatever ‘avocado toast’ may be ….
Who Is Better At Saving?
According to a survey conducted by Chase Bank, you might be surprised to hear that Millennials are more likely to start saving for retirement at an earlier age. Also, the survey indicates that while they are making less than their Gen X and Boomer predecessors, they are actually saving more money.
So where does this leave Xennials in terms of finance?
Personally, like most other generational aspects, I find myself in the middle again. While I have long since embraced online banking, I cannot fathom the use of some financial apps – such as Venmo or Mint. I hate this password strong technology world and regrettably having to rely on an app to secure all my passwords. This is to say nothing of my fear for the tech-savvy hackers that fluently speak code, of which I cannot even hope to comprehend.
I remember the days when someone picked up the phone and I was instantly disconnected from, whatever the internet was back then. And I am among those that fully believed Y2K was going to shut down the world as we knew it and that blowing on the Nintendo cartridge would fully restore Mario to all his Italian plumber glory. Xennials know what I mean.
I prescribe to the work hard, save money, retire happy way of life. But what does that mean in this ever-changing world of technology? There is no chance I am working until I am dead! Like the Millennial mental framework, Xennials are looking for a different way.
At 38 I am living a nontraditional lifestyle. I starting writing and blogging online. My husband and I are happy living the DINK lifestyle. This fall we celebrated our first year of homeownership. However, the idea of a mortgage payment until I’m 68 is downright appalling to me. (Stay tuned for more on that in a future post). Like other Xennials, I do not believe in carrying debt or paying interest of any kind. Similarly, I work hard, on my own terms and do not expect the world to hand me anything. Xennials get that the road to financial independence is constantly evolving.
RELATED: How Healthy Are YOUR Money Habits?
So, with one foot in Gen X land behind me and a side-hustling step in the Millennial land around me, I am embracing this newly Xennial world. It is by far the best of both, in my opinion.
Whether you remember the sounds of dial-up or prescribe to the ‘maybe money can’t buy happiness, but shouldn’t we at least try’ theory, remember that money is indeed a pertinent factor in every generation. Being raised in an internet-free childhood learning to navigate the web in high school, I am a tech-savvy adult with a kid at heart attitude. I can relate whole-heartedly with this misfit Generation Catalano mindset. For me, the newly indoctrinated Xennial, I stand by Buffy. “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”
If you are interested in a money savvy Millennial’s thoughts on money – check out Money @ 30 !!